Flags of the Confederate States of America
Originating in Florida
in the early 1800s
, the Bonnie Blue
Flag was the unofficial first flag of the
Confederate States of America
, the South united under one star.
This flag was flown from 4 March 1861
to May 1863
as the official
flag of the seven states that seceded from the Union. Later six
more states joined them. It caused confusion on the battlefield
because it was so similar to the Stars and Stripes
of the Union
forces. If any flag can be called "the" Confederate flag, this is it.
This was the second official flag of the Confederacy, brought
into service on 1 May 1863
. When the battlefield was windless,
it was mistaken for a flag of surrender because all that could be
seen was the field of white.
This is the third official flag, adopted 4 March 1865
shortly before the fall of the Confederacy.
The battle flag of the Confederacy is square, usually 3×3
feet. It was used in battle from May 1863
to the fall of the
Confederacy. The blue color on the Southern Cross in the battle
flag was navy blue, as opposed to the much lighter blue of the Naval Jack.
The Confederate Navy Jack is rectangular, usually
about 5×3 feet. The blue color in the Southern Cross is
much lighter than in the Battle Flag, and it was flown only on
Confederate ships from 1863
. This flag is what is typically (though erroneously) recognized as the Confederate flag.